Scratching the Surface

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks thinking about my “practical benevolence ideas.” I really appreciate everyone’s encouragement, but the more I think about it, the more I agree with Darin. That stuff isn’t really about benevolence – it is about coping with a terribly faulty system. They barely begin to scratch the surface of what really needs to be done.

Do you guys remember in Braveheart, when Robert the Bruce always knew what really needed to be done? Instead of going out and doing it, he always retreated to his father’s tower. He let his father continue to dominate the situation, and what’s worse, he BLAMED his father for for being his father. Despite great examples of courage, leadership, and despite his own considerable personal abilities, disaster had to occur before he would do what needed to be done.

I feel that way a lot about my relationship with my church. I feel like I keep retreating, retreating, retreating into a situation that isn’t going to change. They’re going to keep being who they are; they’re going to keep trying to spread their kingdom the same way they’ve always tried to spread it.

I’m afraid to follow Jesus, and it is too easy to keep on retreating. Does that make sense?

in HIS love,


About Nick Gill

orphan-poet-adoptee-soldier-prodigal-servant-husband- counselor-desperate seeker after my Father's face "I feel my body weakened by the years as people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain of death, or is it that they fear the joy of life?" - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Posted on 26 January, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Yes it does, Nick. It is always easier to retreat and we tend to take the path of least resistance.

  2. Have you studied systems theory? It started with family but people noticed the pattern in how churches function.Systems typically fight to stay the same.

  3. I can relate. What does your gut say?Trust the King.

  4. My gut still says, Stay, but I don’t know if that is because I should or because of the social ramifications of making a break.We’re in the middle of an expensive building renovation program, so I know that is contributing to my frustration too.I feel like I’m compromising so much of how I believe things should operate, submitting to our leadership on this issue. I do believe that once we’re finished, we will use our facility as a community center – offering classes to the community and trying to make an impact on our area.I pray that King Jesus will make the path of faith a little clearer for me HIS love,Nick

  5. I like your benevolence ideas. I think that benevolence is who we are, it should not be one of many ministries in our church, but WHO we are, WHAT we are known for. Benevolence is an act, but it is also a state of being. For the disciple, that state of being should lead us out. It’s one thing to write a check, but it’s another to know or be in relationshhip with the person your are giving it to. I like your points about getting out, and starting one block/one family at a time. I have felt those frustrations. I know our churches are supposed to be invested in our communities, we have come so far from that. It is encouraging to see so many others thinking about these aspects of our discipleship! I know God will lead your eager spirit where He wants you to serve in His Kingdom.

  6. What’s so terribly frustrating, Cheryl, is that this IS merely scratching the surface, and yet it is way more than most congregations will even consider.You’re right – Mission is not one function of the church.Benevolence is not one function of the church. The church IS God’s mission to the world, and Scripture only once differentiates what we call benevolence from what we call evangelism (Acts 6:2) and that is because there were only 12 men available to do the apostolic work at this one specific moment. The church as a whole still exists AS A HIS love,Nick

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